The Congress has called a meeting of its Lok Sabha MPs in Parliament on Monday at 10.30 am to chalk out strategy for the floor of the House.
It is expected that the Congress, as well as other parties of the opposition alliance INDIA, will flag the issue in the House in case there are indications that the reinstatement process may be delayed.
The Congress has repeatedly highlighted how Rahul was disqualified as Lok Sabha MP within 26 hours of his conviction by a Surat court in a defamation case.
The party has demanded that Rahul’s reinstatement be done just as swiftly, specially before the House begins debate on the no-confidence motion moved by the Congress.
The Lok Sabha will take up the no-confidence debate from August 8.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reply to the debate on August 10.
Congress slams delay
Just hours after the Supreme Court, on August 4, stayed Rahul’s conviction, the Congress demanded that the Lok Sabha reinstate him.
Spokesperson Jairam Ramesh posted on X (formerly Twitter): “26 hours after Rahul Gandhi was ‘convicted’ by the Sessions Court in Surat, the notification of his disqualification as MP was issued. 36 hours have passed since the Supreme Court stayed his wholly unjustified conviction. Why hasn’t his position as MP been restored yet? Is the Prime Minister afraid of his participation in the No-Confidence Motion?”
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he had sent the relevant court documents to the Speaker’s secretariat on Saturday morning, with the plea that Rahul’s reinstatement be done at “lightning speed”, just as he was disqualified following his conviction by the Gujarat court.
He said the Speaker had asked him to get in touch on Saturday morning, and when he did, he was directed to submit the papers to the LS secretary general.
Chowdhury said when he contacted the secretary general, he was told that the office was closed on Saturday, and the papers should be sent to the Speaker. Chowdhury then mailed the documents to the LS secretariat.
“I harbour no suspicions. I have only narrated the efforts we have made to follow up on the court order to get Rahul Gandhi reinstated in the LS,” he said, adding that “we are only seeking our rights. The membership was taken away on the court’s orders and now that Rahul Gandhi has received the relief on court orders, we only want our right to be restored. They can take any legal advice”.
Not the same: Lok Sabha secretariat
A Lok Sabha secretariat functionary, however, said the two situations could not be compared.
“The sessions court order had come during working days whereas the SC order came on Friday and the LS secretariat is closed on Saturday and Sunday. The scrutiny of Congress letters will be done on Monday after which a merit-based decision will be taken,” he said.
In the case of Lakshadweep MP PP Mohammed Faizal, a member of the Nationalist Congress Party, the restoration had taken over a month.
The MP, who was disqualified in January after receiving a 10-year jail term, had to go to the Supreme Court when he was not restored despite a Kerala High order freezing the sentence. He was restored ahead of the Supreme Court hearing in March.
Watch Show same urgency in restoring Rahul Gandhi’s membership: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury